Photo: Chung Li Photography
We've talked about how to find the perfect photographer for your wedding. And if you've narrowed it down to one or two contenders, then the next step is to meet with each photographer in person and go over these essential questions listed below. After the meeting, talk with your groom and assess if you both feel a connection with the photographer. Are your personalities a good match? Remember that this person will be right by your side for at least eight hours on your wedding day, so you'll want to choose someone you feel comfortable with and can communicate easily with.
Tip: We recommend printing out this list of questions and bringing it with you to photographer meetings!
The Wedding Date:
• Is my wedding date available? (If the photographer is the sole proprietor and the answer is no, and you're not willing or able to change your date, then there's no need to ask the rest of these questions.)
• Are you the photographer who will shoot my wedding? If not, can I meet the photographer before my wedding? (Some larger studios employ several photographers but you should meet your photographer in person before the wedding. Also, you should ask the questions on this list of whoever is going to be the primary photographer at your event, and that photographer's name should be on your contract.)
• How many other weddings will you photograph that weekend?
• Will you have any assistants with you on that day?
• How will you (and your assistants) be dressed?
• How long have you been shooting weddings?
• How many weddings have you photographed? Have you done any that were similar to mine in size and style?
• Have you shot a wedding at my ceremony and reception venues? If not, do you plan to check it out in advance?
• Do you have a portfolio of recent weddings you've shot — from start to finish — that I can browse?
• Have you ever worked with my videographer? Florist? DJ? Coordinator, etc.?
• May I have a list of references?
• How would you describe your wedding-photography style? (e.g. traditional, photojournalistic, artistic)
• How would you describe your working style? (e.g. Does he/she prefer to blend into the background and shoot what unfolds naturally, or does he/she create a more visible presence by taking charge and choreographing shots?)
• What do you think makes your work distinct?
• Do you shoot digitally or with film? Or both?
• What type of equipment do you use?
• Do you shoot in color and black and white?
• Can I give you a list of specific shots we would like? (Keep in mind this is a sensitive question — some photographers welcome a shot list while others feel a specific list of must-have shots detracts them from capturing moments as they unfold.)
Photography Packages and Payment:
• If my wedding site is out of your area, do you charge a travel fee and what does that cover?
• What packages do you offer?
• Can I customize a package based on my needs?
• Do you include engagement photos in your packages?
• Do you offer a photo booth?
• Can you put together a slideshow of the engagement session to show during cocktail hour? What about an "instant" slideshow of the ceremony to show at the reception?
•What type of album designs do you offer? Do you provide any assistance in creating an album?
• Do you provide retouching, color adjustment, or other corrective services?
• How long after the wedding will I get the proofs? Will they be viewable online? On a CD? A thumb drive?
• Will you be posting about our wedding on your social media sites (blog, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter)?
• Will you be submitting our wedding photos to magazines or blogs?
• What is the ordering process for photos and albums?
• How long after I order my photos/album will I receive them?
• Will you give me the negatives and/or the digital images, and is there a fee for that? Will the digital images be high-resolution?
• When will I receive a written contract?
• How much of a deposit do you require and when is it due? Do you offer a payment plan?
• What is your refund/cancellation policy?
• Do you have liability insurance?
• Do you have backup equipment? What about a backup plan if you (or my scheduled photographer) are unable to shoot my wedding for some reason?
• Is it okay if other people take photos while you're taking photos?
• What time will you arrive at the site and for how long will you shoot?
• If my event lasts longer than expected, will you stay? Is there an additional charge?
• How far in advance do I need to book you?
• What information do you need from me before the wedding day?